Free Yourself for a Free Syria

This post is pretty long overdue, but better late than never.

Ever hear the saying, “Change comes from within”?
I’m pretty sure it was meant to mean something along the lines of, changes you make, come from within you, not from external factors. But, I think it is really applicable to the Syrian revolution, hence my title.

I know many super awesome Syrians who love the revolution, live it and breathe it day and night. And whether due to the pain of watching what is going on within the country, or just because of personal inhibition, they seem to have become inactive and somewhat oppressed. I can attest to that effect, as I wrote about it on this very blog. Sometimes, it is honestly so discouraging to see what is going on in Syria, that you just give up.

But being “free” for a free Syria is one of the most important things we must do to attain a free Syria. We can’t be afraid to speak, we can’t be afraid to take risks, we really can’t be afraid of anything if we want to do something great. And this change, this removal of inhibitions, must come from within, must come from within our community. Not just the Syrian community, and not just for the Syrian cause. But from every human, for every humanitarian and human rights cause. We can’t have a free country, or be a free people, until we we free ourselves from whatever it is that holds us back. That means taking risks, doing what you thought you’d never do, and standing up for what you believe in even when everyone is standing against you.

The Syrian people stood up against a a regime that oppressed them, destroyed their education system and livelihoods for over forty years. Despite their oppression and fear, they stood up, they spoke out, they took a risk. They ended up doing something greater than they ever thought they would do. They put Syria on the map, people now know WHAT Syria is, the international community has their eyes on a country smaller than the state of Florida. Greatest of all, these brave men, women, and children are not just standing against their oppressive government, but standing against a silent international community that allows for the perpetuation of oppressive governments for their own gain. Thats freakin’ HUGE!

Fear did not stop Ali Ferzat, Ibrahim Qashoush, Malek Jandali, Danny Abdul Dayem, the guys of Kafranbel,  and other, even after they faced struggle and threats to their lives. They continue on, they continue to speak out, or, as in the case of Qashoush, they spoke out until the day they died. They are free and they do not let anything stop them from doing what they want to do.

Malala stood up against the Taliban, knowing that she was a target. She was shot in the head and almost lost her life standing up for what she believed in. Today, Malala is alive, sixteen, touring the United States, meeting with the Barack Obama, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She continues to spread her message of the importance of education, and is even working to raise 500 million dollars for the education of Syrian children.

These people had a vision and freed themselves from their own inhibitions to stand up for what they believed in. Malala freed herself from fear of the Taliban so children can have their right to education, Syrians freed themselves from fear of the Assad regime to stand up to an oppressive regime and call for a new world order. They’ve faced fear, they’ve faced struggle, they’ve faced challenges, but they overcome, persevered, and continued on.

Everyone who believes in a cause should do the same. Everyone who believes in Syria should do the same thing. Free yourself for a Free Syria. Host a protest, raise your voice, educate others, do whatever you want. Just don’t be silent, don’t be scared, don’t be discouraged, and never never never give up. Because change truly does come from within. In order to change your community, you must change yourself, and in order to change the state of our country, we must change the way we think, act, and talk about freedom. To have a free Syria, we must be free, we must stay free, and we must operate under the notion that we are already free. 

Free yourself for a Free Syria.

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About nshakfeh

Activism is more than just advocating for others, it's about making yourself into a person who can make a difference. I document how I do that here.

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